It’s time to…Revive Your Marriage! This month I’m joining three bloggy friends, and every Monday we’ll all write our own posts on how you can Revive Your Marriage! Today our topic is Revive Your Marriage through Reviving Your Prayers for Your Husband! If you long to start praying with your husband, but you don’t know where to start, read on.
In my book, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I talk about how spiritual intimacy is so closely linked to sexual intimacy. If you want to revive your sex life, one of the best things you can do is to revive your prayer life–and begin praying with your husband!
But prayer is a tough thing. And I think many women are seriously stuck in a prayer rut because we are waiting for our husbands to take the lead. We want our husband to be the spiritual leader, and so we’re waiting for him to lead us in prayer. And when he doesn’t, we start getting grumpy and a little resentful.
Or perhaps you just want to be praying more as a couple TOGETHER, but you’re not sure how to start. It’s a little embarrassing.
Today, in Revive Your Marriage, Courtney at Women Living Well is talking about sentence prayers for your husband–how to remind yourself throughout the day to constantly be praying for your husband, and I think that is wonderful! Every time I hear a siren of any kind, that’s my reminder to pray throughout the day, too.
So Courtney has that base covered. I’d like to cover another one: how do you actually start praying WITH your husband, especially if he isn’t that intent on praying? And how do we build him up and encourage him by letting him know that we’re praying for him, and letting him hear what we’re praying?
Here are some thoughts:
1. Ask if he would mind if you prayed about something specific for him.
Saying “can we pray together” is more intimidating than, “can we take a moment and pray about Johnny’s bullying situation at school?” The former sounds like anything from “I want to pray for two hours on my knees with you” to “I want to pray that our marriage will completely turn around.” He may not know what to make of it. Start with something specific, with boundaries around the request, and he may be more likely to say yes.
And don’t forget to ask him what he needs prayer for in the morning! You can even leave him notes in his pocket or in his lunchbox saying, “I prayed this for you today: that you would feel God’s strength even when you’re dealing with difficult people.”
2. If your husband is uncomfortable praying out loud, then when YOU are praying with your husband out loud, don’t be too flowery.
Just be honest before God. You don’t need to embellish or try to fill in a lot of time to make up for what your husband isn’t doing. Try to be on the same level; if he’s more comfortable with just a few sentences, then utter just a few sentences yourself. That way it doesn’t seem as if this is something that you are primarily doing and he is along for the ride; it’s something that you do together. And remember: there’s nothing wrong with praying a few sentences out loud together, and then praying silently together.
3. Pick a consistent time to pray to pray together as a couple.
If you pray every night over the baby’s crib, for instance, or every night in bed together, then you’re more likely to keep doing it! You can always pray at other times of the day, too, but trying to develop habits makes it more likely to keep going!
4. Buy a book of prayers.
I know my ultra-evangelical friends will be turned off by this, but hear me out. For a time our family attended an Anglican church, and the prayers in the prayer book really are beautiful. We left that church when we moved and go to a more traditional evangelical one now, but both Keith and I miss the depth of the Anglican prayers. Keith has bought a few books of prayers, and every now and then leads the family in them, especially when we’re on holidays together. Here are a few that I like, and if you and your husband feel uncomfortable praying out loud, these can be freeing (and once you’re comfortable with these, you’ll likely add something else!):
There’s nothing wrong with a written prayer, as long as your heart is in agreement. You may prefer that prayer be spontaneous, but if people are more comfortable reading it, is that really so bad? If your both feeling so awkward that you can’t pray out loud together, then think about the option of buying a book of prayers, or using an Anglican/Episcopalian prayer book. They really do have lovely prayers! Here are some books of prayers to get you started:
5. Pray for Your Husband in Bed.
Even if you don’t pray together regularly, you can pray for him when you’re in bed! While we’re lying beside each other at night, sometimes I’ll just lay my hand on Keith’s back and pray a sentence or two for him. For the last two nights, for instance, he’s been up all night at the hospital with really sick children (he’s a pediatrician). He’s absolutely exhausted, getting quite sick, and is stressed. So just praying, “God, I pray that you will give my husband strength for what he has to do and wisdom to do it. Let him know that he’s operating on your strength. Let him sleep tonight. And guide his hands tomorrow.” It’s simple, and it makes him feel great!
Sometimes I even text him those sentence prayers throughout the day. Remember–let’s not make an idol out of long prayers. Jesus even talked against that! A simple, heartfelt prayer is fine. And if your husband struggles with long prayers, don’t make him feel like he’s inadequate. Just go the simple route, and you may find you feel much more in tune with each other.
And now it’s time for our challenge: what can you do to remind yourself to pray more regularly for your husband, and to let him know that you’re praying for him? Here’s one idea:
My three blogging friends have also written on how to pray with your husband, and you can see what they have to say, too!
And you can have your say, too! Just leave a comment to tell us the struggles you’ve had with prayer, the solutions you’ve found, or how you remind yourself to pray for your husband and encourage him through prayer.
Join us next Monday when we talk about how to “Revive Your Attitude“!